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Understanding ChatGPT & Impact on Education

AI or artificial intelligence is not new. You have already used AI today if you have used facial recognition to unlock your phone, checked social media, communicated with a smart speaker, or used auto navigation. A new publicly available tool for creating AI-generated text was recently released and will have widespread implications for society, including education. Parents of school-age children must be aware of these new tools and capabilities.

ChatGPT is a natural language processing model launched in November 2022. It is programmed to receive written prompts and produce original and conversational responses. Because ChatGPT creates brand-new text, it can be challenging to detect if a passage of text was written by a human or by AI. ChatGPT provides new opportunities and challenges for teachers, administrators, and schools. 

One of the immediate challenges is considering how ChatGPT affects academic honesty and how students might “cheat.” AI text detectors are available, but the technology will continue to advance, so we need to think beyond the immediate need to catch plagiarism. 

The CHS English department staff has had several conversations about how this tool will impact their craft. They will tell you building relationships and knowing their students’ written voices is vital. 

Another challenge is accuracy. ChatGPT can generate impressive responses that are false. It takes human review to catch these errors.  Teachers may use AI-generated text as a powerful tool for critical thinking assignments that challenge students to find inaccuracies.

The terms for creating a ChatGPT account state that the user must be 18; therefore, CCS has restricted student access on the CCS network and CCS devices. We recognize students may make accounts using other non-CCS networks, but it does mean student use of ChatGPT cannot be a classroom requirement. Teachers can utilize the tool to explore and experiment, finding ways to use AI for teaching and learning.

  • Teachers might ask ChatGPT to generate an analysis of a text they are reading in class and then ask students to critique the arguments. 
  • Students could compare and contrast a Langston Hughes poem with one written by ChatGPT in his style. 
  • ChatGPT could generate Python code that computer science students then check for accuracy. 

Carmel Clay Schools’ mission is to “provide opportunities for all students to realize their potential in an ever-changing world.” ChatGPT is a new tool in a long line that has changed education: the pen, the graphite pencil, the eraser, the calculator, and the internet. We are excited to help students learn to navigate this new landscape. 

To learn more about ChatGPT and how you might start conversations with your students about its challenges and benefits, check out the resources below. 

ChatGPT Explainer Video

ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education): AI in Education

Common Sense Media: Guide to ChatGPT for Parents and Caregivers

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